This season, the major leagues introduced a pitch clock system with the goal of shortening game time. The pitcher must pitch within 15 seconds when there are no runners and 20 seconds when there are runners. Runner checks are limited to two times.
Here, the physical size of the base has also increased slightly. With less checks and a bigger base, better conditions were created for the runners. The MLB Secretariat also aimed for this effect. The will to present a more dynamic and aggressive baseball to the fans was clear. The result is a significant increase in the number of stolen bases this season.
One of the players benefiting is Bae Ji-hwan (24, Pittsburgh). Bae Ji-hwan has now risen to the ranks of the league’s representative. Sprint speed (speed at peak) is in the top ten of the league. In fact, Bae Ji-hwan succeeded in stealing 11 bases until the 2nd (Korean time), ranking second in the league. He tried 12 times and never failed.
In Pittsburgh’s history, only three players have stolen 11 or more bases in March/April, and Lee Lancey (13) in 1983 was the only player to steal more bases than Bae Ji-hwan in March/April. It is the first time that there is no one to follow as a Korean player. However, if you look at the Asian record, Bae Ji-hwan is the only player who needs to give up. It is the legendary player Ichiro Suzuki.스포츠토토
Ichiro holds the record for the most stolen bases per month by an Asian player. It is May 2008. At that time, Ichiro succeeded in stealing 18 bases in one month alone. He is one of 12 players in major league history to steal 18 or more bases on a monthly basis.
Bae Ji-hwan played throughout April and had a high success rate, but he stayed at 11, and considering that Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta) ranked first in the major leagues with 13, Ichiro’s record is surprising. It is also worth celebrating that in 2008, Ichiro will be 35 years old.
During his active career, Ichiro is classified as a Hall of Fame player who is sure to enter the Hall of Fame with precise batting, quick feet, and top-notch defense. During his 19 years in the majors, he had a career batting average of 0.311, and also stole 509 bases. His 56 in 2001, his debut season, is the most in one season. He has 10 seasons with 30 or more stolen bases.
For Bae Ji-hwan to challenge Ichiro’s record, consistent appearances and on-base percentage are the key. Ichiro was a regular starting player, playing almost every day, and his monthly on-base percentage in May 2008 was high at .384. However, Bae Ji-hwan is still young. It is interesting that one day there will be a day to challenge this record.